tv International Programming CSPAN December 19, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EST
>> and now to london for prime minister's question time live from the british house of commons. every wednesday while parliament is in session prime minister david cameron takes questions from members of the house of congress. prior to questions on the house is wrapping up other business. this is live coverage on c-span2. >> they deserve all our support and thanks for what this government gives. >> abolishing the committee on house substance and establishing -- [inaudible] would that minister said that was a sensible use of taxpayers money and time? >> i have no idea of the particular incident the honorable gentleman to talk about but i will look into it and give him an answer. >> order. questions for the prime minister. >> number one, mr. speaker,. >> thank you, mr. speaker. before listing my engagements i
am sure the whole house will wish to enjoy -- join me in sending our best wishes for christmas to brave forces in afghanistan. to the families will be missing them and the servicemen and women around the world you are always in our thoughts. we owe you a deep debt of gratitude and we send our heartfelt thanks at christmastime. this morning i have meetings with colleagues and others an addition to my dealings in this house i shall of further such meetings later today. >> can i thank my right honorable friend force, to that which he wishes a merry christmas to our service families who are on deployment and their families as well. could my right honorable friend also told what progress is being made by -- [inaudible] especially those who serve on -- [inaudible] >> i thank my honorable friend. on this issue which is gone for very long time, i'm delighted to
be able to tell the house that we have reached a resolution. i ask sir john to conduct a review, to look specifically at what most important cases. he's completed his work and i thank them for what he has done. more details will come from the ministry of defence in the new year, including how veterans can apply but i'm pleased to tell the house the following. on the arctic convoy sir john has recommended i fully agree there will be an arctic convoys star medal. >> here, here. >> i am very pleased some of the brave men of the arctic convoys will get the recognition they so richly deserve for the very dangerous work they did. on former commander, sir john concluded they been treated inconsistently with those who served in fighter command. he is recommended and i also agree that the heroic acts should be reward a bomber command class. i know this we've widely welcomed across the house. i pay tribute to my right honorable friend's, and members of the house on all sides who
campaigned hard over these issues and i'm glad we reached a resolution and one that is popular and right. >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, i want to start by joining the prime minister but being traded to our troops in afghanistan. who continue to show such huge courage and bravery. and i think it is particularly important at this time of year to remember them and, indeed, their families, many of whom will be separated from them. their families are all in our thoughts but i also want to welcome the governments welcome the government expected announcement today on reducing the number of troops in afghanistan during 2013, and we await the secretary statement. and the prime minister and the prime minister to allow some and british troops and civilian staff will be left in afghanistan after the 2014 deadline? and can you confirm if they will be there under afghan led command? >> first of all i joined the leader of the opposition in welcoming what our troops do. specifically on afghanistan we
have to decisions to make. first of all the decision about the drawdown of troops between now and the end of 2014, and what the defense secretary will announce is because of the success of our forces and afghan national security forces, and the fact we're moving from mentoring and a battalion level to mentoring and brigade level by the end of 2013 will be able to see troops come home and relatively, to relatively even steps, 2013-2014, leaving probably around 5200 troops after the end of 2013 compared with the 9000 another it's a good moment to pay tribute to incredible work they have done. many of them going back for tour after tour. the ones i've spoken to recent have been particularly impressed by the capacity of the afghan national forces. in terms of post-2014, we haven't made final decisions yet. we have said very clearly no one in a combat role, nothing like the number of troops there are now. we promise the afghans we will provide his officer training
academy they specifically asked for, and we are prepared to look at other issues above and beyond that. but that is a starting baseline. >> mr. speaker, kind of thank the prime minister for that answer. now, given the thousands of troops, british troops who will still be in harm's way in afghanistan, and the prime minister update thousand say what specific ever the government is making with international community to match the continuing military effort with the greater diplomatic effort that energy and i both think are important? because after all this isn't away with what we will leave behind, a chance of living behind, a durable political settlement afghanistan which is so important. >> i think the right honorable gentleman is right. there's a military track. there's always been a political and military track. let me be clear. after 2014 of course after december 2014 there will still be some troops who will be involved in returning equipment and dealing with logistics. exact announcement will be made at a later stage.
in terms of the work will be doomed doing. we will not be leaving afghanistan in terms of our support and to help for the afghans. we will be contributed 70 million pounds a year to help pay for the afghan national security forces. we will have an aid program in excess of 170 million pounds a year for afghanistan. in terms of the diplomatic track, the thing we're most focus on is bringing afghanistan and pakistan together. i personally hosted two meetings between the two presidents. i hope to host for the meetings including early in the new year and i spoke to president karzai this morning to encourage them to keep working on this vital relationship. so that pakistan and afghanistan can both see they have a shared interest in a stable future. >> mr. speaker, i'm grateful for the prime minister for the answer. i want to recognize the work of thousands of volunteers who are helping out in our nation's the banks. and the millions of people are donating food to them. mr. speaker, is the prime minister as concerned as i am as
there's been a six fold increase in the last three years the number of people relying on food banks? >> first of all let me echo what he said about volunteers and people who work hard in our communities. part of what i call the big society to help those in need. i think it's important. i do share -- [shouting] >> it is a good time of year to thank our volunteers and what they do, but i do share his concern about people who are struggling to pay the bills, struggling to do with their budgets. of course, the most important thing is to get on top of inflation, and inflation is coming down. the most important thing is to get more people into work, and out of poverty. and we see 600,000 more private sector jobs this year. and we are helping those families by freezing the council tax and by making sure that we help families with the cost of living. >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, we both pay tribute to the work of the volunteer, but i never saw -- it
was about feeding hungry children in britain. and the problem is that as working people are turning to food banks, one head teacher of a school says that even children with a parent or parents in work are often struggling with a choice for heating their home, buying their children clothes or buying them for. and a reporter leslie by the children's society said that two-thirds of teachers -- providing pupils with food or money to prevent them going hungry. mr. speaker, why does he think it's happening and why does it appear to be getting worse on his watch? >> i agree with the right honorable gentleman. we need to do more to help the poorest in our country. that is why we have lifted the personal tax allowance and we have taken to million of the lowest paid people out of tax altogether. if you take someone who was on minimum wage, who works full-time, because of the tax
changes we've made, their income tax bill has been cut in half. i would also make this point. because of the decisions we made in this government to increase the child tax credit by 390 pounds ahead of inflation, we actually have helped those families with their bills and we will continue to do more in the future. >> mr. speaker, i'm afraid history out of touch with families -- [shouting] and the problem is with the chancellor didn't tell us in the autumn statement was the tax will be hitting working families who rely on taxes up and down the country. the reality is in the third year of his government more children are going hungry and more families are relying on food banks. and isn't it the clearest -- while lower and middle income families are being hit, at the same thing is getting average of 107,000-pound tax cut to people earning over a million pounds a
year? >> what is out of touch is denying the fact we had a deficit left by his government and we had to deal with it. that is what we have had to do. that we have been able to do it at the same time as cutting taxes for the poorest in our country, increasing child tax credit, and actually freezing the council tax to help those families. when it comes to the top rated tax, let me tell him, the ridges in the country will pay more in tax under every year of this government than any year of his government. those are the facts. he may not like him but he can't deny them. >> mr. speaker, the problem is nobody believes him anymore. [shouting] and we know who this prime minister stands up for, because where was he last weekend? back to his old ways, parting with rebekah brooks. [shouting] no doubt both looking forward to the fox day hunt, mr. speaker. but before he was elected the
prime minister said, unless you can represent everyone in our country, you cannot be a one nation party. that was then. this is now. everyone now knows he cannot be a one nation prime minister. [shouting] >> well, mr. speaker, it wouldn't be christmas without the repeat and that's all we ever get. [laughter] that is all we ever get from the honorable gentleman. i'll tell him what we've done this year. we said we would take action on jobs. with 67,000 more private sector jobs. we said we would help with the cost of living. we're frozen the council tax for the third year in a row. we said we would do with a deficit. we have cut the deficit by a quarter. and what have we heard from his this year? what has he told us about the deficit? nothing but what has he told us about welfare? nothing. what is he tells about his education plan? nothing. the fact is he has got actually nothing to offer except for the same old something for nothing culture that got us in this mess
in the first place. [shouting] >> [inaudible] a just and democratic society. will the prime minister, therefore, speak order. sorry for interrupting. members must now calm down. both the questions and answers must be heard. >> will the prime minister therefore speak personal assurances from the commission of the metropolitan police that no stone will be left unturned in getting to the full truth about allegations of serving police officer fabricated evidence against a member of the cabinet? >> first of all let me say, again at christmas time is right to pay tribute for these men and women look after us around after us round-the-clock into an extremely good job. but the point that my honorable friend has made is important to
a police officer posing as a member of the public and sending an e-mail potentially to black in the name of a cabinet minister is a very serious issue. and as need be seriously investigated. the metropolitan police service is conducting a thorough and well resourced investigation to get to the to the truth of this mad as good as possible. the independent police complaints commission will be supervising the investigation and i think we should allow them to get to the truth. >> david anderson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. despite what the prime minister said in response to the leader, the classic -- [inaudible]. kids are going to school hungry. we have a stagnant economy. is the prime minister, is his policy -- to take this country back to the 1930s? >> i would hope that the honorable gentleman with a constituency that they represent will be celebrating today the
fact that there was announce another 125 million pounds investment into our country. this is now one of the biggest and most successful car plans anywhere in britain. and yet we face tough economic times but the fact is with over 1 million new private-sector jobs. last year and this year saw some of the fastest business creation. that is what's happened in our country. yes, there are tough times and tough choices, but our economy is rebounding and we should recognize that. >> in march would introduce a new local green space designation to protect green spaces, not just for landscape painters but for urban and suburban communities in my constituency. can the prime minister reassure local council that they can and should use this new designation and that it hasn't been undermined by any recent pronouncements? >> i would reassure my honorable friend the national planning framework would put in place
that was 1000 pages long, now just 50 pages long, that is our planning policy, are planning framework but we're giving greater power and greater ability to local authorities, and also to have neighborhood plans so that these decisions can be made with a should be more locally. >> i have in my hand a genuine suicide note from a constituent of mine who is suddenly took his own life after he found out he was no longer able to have benefits. and across the uk, there's over 1000 people who have died only months after being told to find work. this is 2012. we are supposed to be a civilized society. we should be looking after the disabled citizens here in the uk. will the prime minister listen to the 62000 people who signed
the petition? and finally, finally, please order an assessment of all changes -- [inaudible] >> i will look very carefully at the very tragic case the honorable gentleman brings to the house, everyone's thoughtful got to that person family and to what has happened to them. what i would say to him is that the actual money we're putting into this disability benefit over the coming years is going up and not down. i think everybody knows that everyone except when it have a review of disability benefits. some people have been stuck on these benefits and not been reviewed for year after year after year. that is the view of the disability charities and that's the view of the government as well. >> harry jaffa baldwin. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as we approach christmas, will the prime minister join me in celebrating the fact that there are more people in employment this christmas than there's ever been in this legislation?
>> the honorable lady makes an important point and after all the leader of the opposition said back in january unemployment was going to go out. that is the prediction that he made. he stood at the dispatch box and said that. the fact is unemployment has come down. employment has gone out. we've seen a record fall in youth unemployment in the last quarter. all of those things are welcome, particularly as we see such a growth in the private sector because everyone knows that we have to have a rebalancing of our economy where we shed some jobs in the public sector but we need to grow the private sector. that is what's happening. >> merry christmas, mr. speaker. [laughter] >> can we have a vote on that? >> all those in favor?
>> thank you. people realize now that the prime minister has this keynesian view for the uk. workouts for the many, but why is he limiting welfare benefits for parents caring for a dull children? with a disability. can we have an explanation for that? >> i say to the honorable gentleman i think it probably was a case of merry christmas and happy speaker opportunities in the new year. we have not restricted disability benefits. what we've done is put more money into disability benefits. that is what this government is doing. but what i would say to the honorable gentleman is where taken difficult decisions to increase tax credits by 1%, to increase public sector pay by 1%, and to increase out of work benefits by 1%. but that is a tough decision that needed to be taken. >> last week, the published
census figures revealed that the previous government presided over the largest wave of immigration our country has ever seen. yet next christmas our borders will be flowing even wider to potentially limited immigration for the 29 million people live in romania and bulgaria. will my right honorable friend look at seriously at triggering the national interest clauses bearing deep in the eu directive, to s.t.e.m. this new flow, especially for those with criminal records or those who seek access to our welfare benefits? >> first of all let me echo what my honorable friend said in the first half of his question but alas government allowed to completely uncontrolled situation of migration where we saw net immigration of 200,000 a year, too many people across a decade, that is to cities the size of birmingham today in our country every year.
and not one word of apology for the mess they left. my honorable friend makes an important point as the transitional controls come off the country. i look carefully at what he says. we do have rules to try and restrict access to benefit. we will go on working to try to make those as robust as possible. i mentioned the national interest clauses in the statement on europe on monday. i think those can only be triggered if the our emergency conditions but i look carefully at what he said. >> a month ago the prime minister told the house that universal credit is in place work incentives for people at all levels of income. why then does the department now say that universal credit will mean that working women will consider getting off work? >> that's not the case at all. universal credit means because we are bringing different benefits together, what it means is that people will always be better off in work and people
always be better off working extra hours. that is what we are doing. they had 13 years to sort out this poverty crap and completely failed. >> mark spencer. >> thank you my constituents is currently stuck in cuba despite having a british passport. i wonder if the prime minister could encourage the cuban authority to look with compassion and speed to try to get you'll be back home for christmas with his family? >> i quite understand why my honorable friend raises this case. because he was born in cuba, entered the uk, but is paying a british passport in 1997 by understand why he raises this case. we are in regular contact with the cuban authorities who have advised as he should expect to receive his cuban passport this week which will enable him to travel. ultimately, this decision does rest with the cuban authorities but british officials will
continue to assess him and we will keep in touch with the honorable gentleman. >> thank you, mr. speaker. in april the prime minister stated that energy sufficiency -- efficiency will be laced at the heart of government policy but on monday of this week the government's -- advisory group warned there could be over 9 million households in fuel poverty, and that is 25% of all households. can the prime minister tell us and tell me why our next year expenditure on heating programs for low-income households will be half the level of the 2010-2011? >> i'm afraid, i know the honorable lady takes a deep interest in this matter but the green pea is a bigger and better program that is being brought in. i would make the point that labour promised to abolish the poverty altogether in their 2005 manifesto and yet fuel poverty went up. that is what happened. what we have done is investing
in the warm front scheme come we maintain the winter fuel payments. we've increased the cold weather payments. we are making money of able under the warm homes healthy people fund, and the greenfield and eco-scheme are some of the biggest scams ever introduced in this country. >> does the prime minister agree with the shadow health secretary that any interest in -- [shouting] as he put a responsible speak with my honorable friend makes an important point. some people in the house of commons might have missed this because in a recent healthy debate my right honorable friend the health secretary asked the shadow health secretary, does he stand by his comments that it is a responsible to increase nhs spending? and what did the right honorable gentlemen say, he said yes, i do. it may be christmastime, and the shadow health secretary is the gift that keeps on giving.
>> thank you last week 100 young homeless people came to this house for the first ever young homeless people target i'm grateful for you, and the ministers who came to engage with them. they were actually young people getting powerful personal testimony as to why they have become homeless. and stepping out in no uncertain terms what to expect from us in this house. can ask the prime minister this question? above all, they want their voice to be heard, and they agreed that they would seek a meeting with the prime minister. will the prime minister received a delegation of those young homeless people? >> first of all, can i join you in welcoming the fact they came to parliament to make these points. i will listen very carefully to what they have to say. i think the truth is in a country we have seen housing benefits increased by something like 50% over recent years, and
even under our plan housing benefits will continue to increase. the truth is what we need to do in britain is build more homes. build more homes in the private sector and build more homes in the rental sector. that is the vital task we have ahead of us and to take credit for the prime -- planning minister and others to help make this happen. >> thank you the closure of the originally state-sponsored lifeline health helicopter too much was presented challenges to islanders, the medical services and to the economy. but local people and other stakeholders are working together to find solutions. with the prime minister the prepared to meet a small delegation of islanders and myself in order to explore what encouragement and assistance the government can provide? >> my honorable friend makes an important point. clearly proper transport to the islands are final. i understand other providers are
looking to fill the gaps that have been left by the helicopter service. this would provide the most long-term most sustainable option rather than government subsidy. but we have to look at all the options. it is a part of the country that needs to be connected. if businesses are to have a meeting then i will. >> david crosby [shouting] >> order. let's have a bit of order for mr. david crosby. >> win the great train robbers stole two-and-a-half million pounds from royal mail, they were sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison. yet when our bankers get caught fraudulently taking billions of pounds from people throughout the world they have fines and walk away with back pensions. how can we ever be anything together as long as we call her rates powerful villains who are
just too privileged to be put behind bars? >> i think the honorable gentleman makes an important point and that is why the weekly review into the libor scandal recommends a series of changes, including there being criminal sanctions. and i think when people are broken the law they should face the full force of the criminal law. what punishment we should design for people who sold our goal at half price on the other hand is another matter altogether. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. [inaudible] a terrible condition that destroys lives. will my right honorable friend, the prime minister, join with me in commending the council on local health care partners on developing the excellent coventry of -- [inaudible] which is providing an excellent service to dementia sufferers and their carers?
>> and i'm happy to join my honorable friend in paying tribute to his county council but we do need to do far more as a country to tackle dementia but i think there are three important part. first is to recognize this is a disease and not just a natural part of aging and we need to increase the research that goes into dementia. we need to improve the care that people get in hospitals and in care homes and make sure there's far more dignity. but, frankly, this is something where all communities have to come together and make more dementia friendly communities and that is where local government i think can help lead the way by bringing organizations together as they have done in his constituency. >> interesting prime minister said -- [inaudible] as the prime minister's local content has pleaded guilty -- [inaudible] can the prime minister please remind the house how may times he is ridden with the fox, whether he uses his own horse?
>> i can happily put on record that i've never broken the law in this regard. [shouting] >> could i -- could i reassure my honorable friend of those in my constituents who are most strongly in favor of reforming benefits focusing and a more of those who need them are taking away from those who don't are those who live on constant states are fed up with working long hours to subsidize the lifestyles of those who don't want to work? >> here, here spent typing my honorable friend makes an important point. we made three difficult decisions. we've said a 1% pay freeze on the public sector, a 1% freeze increase on working benefits and a 1% freeze on tax credit. the party opposite supports the 1% freeze on private sector pay. that is